September 3, 2012

Book Review - Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities

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The new book “Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities” (Atiswinic Press) describes how to play more than 100 hiking-related diversions.

Book Details
Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities
Author: Rob Bignell

Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities focuses on kid-friendly games and activities for before, during and after hiking. 

But don’t be fooled into thinking that this book is only useful for families that undertake wilderness hikes. 

If you asked me or anyone in my family, whether we take hikes, the answer will be a emphatic ‘NO!’  What we do is get outside a lot.  We go on short trips to outdoor locations – like a botanic gardens, nature reserve or wildlife park - and walk around.  We swim and picnic too.  And we do other outdoor activities as well, mostly fishing.
You might even say that our family strategy for getting children to walk outdoors, is to pretend that we are not there to enjoy a walk but are going for a swim, going for a picnic, fishing or any other label.

The games and activities in the Hikes With Tykes book are useful for any outdoor activity you might be embarking on.

The book is the follow-up to Bignell’s “Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids,” which was released last year (which I’m going to confess I haven’t read!)

How do we know Bignell knows what he’s talking about?  This is from his bio:
A long-time hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss hiking with children. He and his son Kieran have been going on day hikes together for more than five years. Bignell took Kieran on his first hike when he was but four-months-old, through an old grove of redwood trees that soared 150 feet over their heads. Since then, they’ve peakbagged mountains, rambled along ocean coastlines, searched fossil and gem trails, and explored desert canyons, often all in the same month.
Peakbagging is attempting to reach the summit of a collection of peaks in a region (I just looked it up.)

The games and activities in this Hikes with Tykes book are collected from the experiences of author Rob Bignell and fellow outdoor-minded parents.  There are activities suitable for all ages from toddler to teen.
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I gave one of the activities a test drive at a recent trip to the Botanic Gardens.  We pretended to be on a wildlife expedition.  We took or binoculars and a magnifying glass and tracked birds, geckos and insects through the rainforest walk and Botanic Gardens playground.  Hundreds of questions later and after taking an hour to get through a short walk, I know that preschoolers love this activity and that it is not the activity to chose if you have a longer distance to walk!

If you are interested to find out what other types of activities are in the book, you can find a sample activity page at the Hikes With Tykes website and look inside the book to see the table of contents on Amazon.

Both volumes in the “Hikes with Tykes” series are available for purchase online at

Please Note: I received a copy of the book for the purpose of review.

Do you go hiking with your kids?  What activities keep your children entertained?


Rob Bignell said...

Thank you so much for your kind words about the book! I'm glad you got to try out some of the suggested activities and that they were a success. All of the games and activities in the book have been tried out by either myself or other parents on the trail, and while not every listed game/activity is for every child, there's certain to be something in the book for any given child.

Also, I have to congratulate you on being such an active parent - so many moms and dad these days are content to plop their children in front of a television or Wii console. Fishing , botanical gardens, walks outside - your children do not know how lucky they are!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a great time enjoying the fun outdoor activities with your family.
cathie at